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Private SNAFU: Spies

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Private SNAFU: Spies


Published 1943


A cartoon in which Private Snafu, while drunk, reveals military secrets that allow the enemy to torpedo his ship.

This is one of 26 Private SNAFU ('Situation Normal, All Fouled Up) cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale the troops. Originally created by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Phil Eastman, most of the cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers Animation Studios - employing their animators, voice actors (primarily Mel Blanc) and Carl Stalling's music.

From the holdings of the National Archives.
NAIL: 111-M-929
ARC Identifier: 35827


Run time 3:45
Sponsor US Army Signal Corp
Audio/Visual sound, Black and White

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Reviews

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 23, 2005
Subject: I'll Never Tell!
Private Snafu has a military secret which he tells us he will never tell. But a combination of stupidity, alcohol, and carelessness causes the secret to slip out in bits and pieces, which the enemy has no trouble piecing together. One of the better examples of "a slip of the lip can sink a ship".
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: sunkelinWA - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 21, 2005
Subject: Timeless
Even with it's stereotypes of our then enemies Private snafu has a transgeneration following. My children (7 & 10 years of age)completely enjoy the silliness and express their understanding of the moral of each cartoon short. I wish that more children could have the opportunity to see these cartoons with a careing adult to explain the stereotypes and why things were as they were.
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2005
Subject: Spies, in rhyme
The most quintesenstial Private SNAFU short of the series, "Spies", features direction by Chuck Jones and writing by Dr. Seuss, Theodore Giesel. The Suessian imprint is all over this short as it is done entirely in couplets.

SNAFU has a secret, one that he's not giving out. Yet, he gives out bits and pieces and spies are everywhere, keeping with wartime paranoia. The film is replete with stereotypes of the enemy, yet there is still something timeless about the humor. The best part is the when SNAFU gets drunk, and we see his insides while Stalling plays a bit of the A-strain of "Powerhouse".
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